Richard’s Art and Gardens to Visit
Hi Everyone. Richard here. I have assembled a list of art and gardens to visit that I trust will be of help and interest. It encompasses some of the finest art museums and gardens in the world, spanning 5 countries on 3 continents. I have provided brief descriptions of each, but the website and Wikipedia links will give you lots of extra history, information and images. The websites also provide all the practical information about opening hours, costs, getting there, etc. If you will be travelling and are able to take in some of the sights I have mentioned I do hope you enjoy them as much as we have. If you are an ‘armchair traveler’ I hope you have fun checking out the information and images on the website and Wikipedia pages. Please enjoy browsing.
- Murwillumbah, NSW
Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre http://artgallery.tweed.nsw.gov.au/
When Susan conducts workshops in Queensland we like to combine our working visit to Australia with a little leisure time too. Last year we spent a few relaxing days in the popular seaside town of Byron Bay, just across the Queensland border in New South Wales. One of the workshop artists recommended that we visit the Tweed Gallery, which is only about 45mins by road from Byron Bay. We are glad we took up the suggestion, particularly for the Margaret Olley Centre. Margaret Olley was one of Australia’s most significant and iconic still-life and interior painters and the re-creation of some of her Sydney home interiors at the Centre give a real sense of her as a person and an artist. Highly recommended. See this page too: http://artgallery.tweed.nsw.gov.au/MargaretOlleyArtCentre
- Los Angeles, CA:
The Getty Center http://www.getty.edu/visit/center/
Around 20mins by car north of LAX. Superb art, impressive architecture and beautiful gardens make the Getty a ‘must see’.
- Brandywine Creek Valley, PA
Longwood Gardens https://longwoodgardens.org/
Consists of over 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows. Around 50mins by car from central Philadelphia or 35mins from the airport. Founded by Pierre du Pont of the prominent du Pont family, Longwood is one of the premier horticultural display gardens in the United States.
About 10mins by car from Longwood Gardens is:
- Chadds Ford, PA
Brandywine River Museum of Art http://www.brandywine.org/museum
The website says: Discover a distinguished collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American art, housed in a renovated nineteenth-century mill with a dramatic steel and glass addition that overlooks the bucolic Brandywine River. Renowned for its holdings of the Wyeth family of artists, the Museum features galleries dedicated to the work of N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth and Jamie Wyeth.
and 5 mins away are the associated:
N.C. Wyeth House & Studio http://www.brandywine.org/museum/studios/nc-wyeth-house-studio
In 1911, with the proceeds from his illustrations for Treasure Island, the artist N.C. Wyeth purchased 18 acres of land. He built his home and studio on a hill overlooking the valley – setting down roots which have nourished a family of extraordinary creativity for more than a century. The house and studio, located five minutes from the museum, retain much of their original character.
Andrew Wyeth Studio http://www.brandywine.org/museum/studios/andrew-wyeth-studio
Andrew Wyeth (son of N.C.), one of America’s best-known and best-loved twentieth-century artists, painted many of his most important works of art in his Chadds Ford studio. He’s also one of Susan’s favourite artists.
For more than 70 years, the Kuerner Farm and family were a major source of inspiration to Andrew Wyeth.
Tours of any or all of the above can be arranged with the Brandywine River Museum of Art. They take place April to November. See the website for details.
- Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Museum of Art http://www.philamuseum.org/
Also, on Wikipedia there is good information plus an excellent selection of ‘Collection Highlights – Paintings‘ about 1/2 way down the page; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Museum_of_Art
There you will find examples of work by the best known Impressionists, plus Picasso, Chagall and many more.
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts https://www.pafa.org/
The first and oldest art museum and art school in the United States. The academy’s museum is internationally known for its collections of 19th- and 20th-century American paintings, sculptures, and works on paper.
- New York, NY
New York, of course, has a huge range and diversity of art museums and galleries to choose from, but if we were to recommend just one I think it would be:
The Frick Collection http://www.frick.org/
It is on the Upper East Side, close to Central Park. It has a wonderful collection, displayed in beautiful spaces and with atmospheric gardens too. Go to the Wikipedia page and scroll down to see highlights of the collection: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frick_Collection
- Boston, MA
Two museums of art we enjoyed in Boston are at opposite ends of the size scale:
Museum of Fine Arts (or MFA) is the fourth largest museum in the United States, and contains more than 450,000 works of art. Its website is here: http://www.mfa.org/
The Wikipedia page also provides a great description and highlights here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_of_Fine_Arts,_Boston
On a much smaller and more intimate scale is the
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum http://www.gardnermuseum.org/home
A wonderful collection and beautiful gardens. What more could you ask for? See the Wikipedia page here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_Stewart_Gardner_Museum
- Rockland, ME
One of Susan’s favourite artists is Andrew Wyeth. Although born and raised in Chadds Farm, Pennsylvania, he and his family spent summers in Cushing, Maine. Perhaps his most famous painting, ‘Christina’s World’, depicts his neighbour there, Christina Olson. The Olson house has been preserved and renovated to match its appearance in ‘Christina’s World’. It is open to the public as a part of the Farnsworth Art Museum. Farnsworth Art Museum is in the coastal town of Rockland. See: http://www.farnsworthmuseum.org/
At the museum is the ‘Wyeth Center, with a great collection of work by Andrew Wyeth, his father (N.C.) and son (Jamie). The museum also has a comprehensive collection of American art by other artists, related to Maine.
The Olson House is about 30 mins by road from Rockland and is well worth a visit, particularly as it played such an important role in Andrew Wyeth’s life and art. See: http://www.farnsworthmuseum.org/olson-house
Sadly, we have only spent a few days in Canada, and only seen one small part – Vancouver city and nearby Vancouver Island. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there, and would love to have the opportunity to spend more time exploring such a grand and diverse country. From our brief time in the country we do have a couple of recommendations – both are gardens:
- Vancouver, BC
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden http://vancouverchinesegarden.com/
Is the first Chinese or “scholars” garden built outside of China. It is located in Chinatown in Vancouver city itself. Beauty and tranquillity are its hallmarks.
- Vancouver Island, BC
Butchart Gardens http://www.butchartgardens.com/
These world renowned gardens are across the water on Vancouver Island, not far from the island’s main town of Victoria. Consisting of a group of floral display gardens, Butchart has been designated a National Historic Site of Canada. Well worth a visit at any time of year. Fabulous!
Just like New York, Paris of course, has a huge array of museums and galleries to visit. Perhaps the most famous is the Louvre, housing the ‘Mona Lisa’, probably the world’s best known art work. Our favourite museum/gallery, though, is the
Musée d’Orsay, housed in a former railway station (Gare d’Orsay). See: http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/home.html
The shell of the building has been retained, with the interior re-built to house the museum/gallery. The result is stunning and awe-inspiring. It has the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world. Apart from the paintings there is also a wonderful collection of sculpture and displays of architecture, the decorative arts and photography. The Wikipedia page shows some of the amazing highlights: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musée_d’Orsay
To do the museum/gallery justice you really need at least a day (if not more), although to avoid ‘gallery fatigue’ it may be best to make it two half-days.
- Les Baux-de-Provence
We love the region of Provence in the south of France, bordering the Mediterranean. Les Baux-de-Provence has been named one of the most beautiful villages in France and is certainly worth a visit in its own right. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Baux-de-Provence
It is close to the town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, which is perfect to base yourself in as you explore all that is on offer nearby. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
Vincent Van Gogh spent a year in an asylum in Saint-Rémy de Provence and painted many of his most famous works there. You can discover the places where Vincent lived and worked. See: http://www.vangoghroute.com/france/saint-remy-de-provence/
Less than a mile south of Saint-Rémy are the remains of the Roman settlement of Glanum, dating back about 2,000 years. See the Wikipedia page at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glanum
For us, the crowning glory of this area and something that took us by surprise was the Carrières de Lumières, a short walk from the village of Les Baux-de-Provence. See: http://carrieres-lumieres.com/en
A description says: “Former quarry with art-based multimedia shows, projecting images of famous paintings set to music”, but no words can really describe this unique and amazing experience. The show changes each year. The one we saw in 2014 was titled ‘Klimt and Vienna, a Century of Gold and Colours’. It inspired Susan to embark on a new artistic journey using precious metal leafing.
A city of art and music, Vienna is grand and spectacular. We stayed in an apartment in the city centre, not far from St Stephen’s Cathedral. Public transport (trams, buses and underground trains) is excellent, so getting around is a breeze. Amongst the multitude of sights there were 3, in particular, we visited and enjoyed:
The Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum) is an absolute ‘must see’. The website is: https://www.khm.at/en/
A spectacular building housing spectacular art and with spectacular inside decoration. The Wikipedia page gives only a hint of what to expect. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunsthistorisches_Museum
The Belvedere Art Gallery & World Heritage Site is a historic building and gardens complex, consisting of two Baroque palaces, the Orangery, and the Palace Stables. It has the world´s largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s paintings, including ‘The Kiss’. The website is at: https://www.belvedere.at/en
The Wikipedia page provides lots of useful information at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belvedere,_Vienna
Schönbrunn Palace is a former imperial summer residence of the Habsburg monarchy. The 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in Austria. If Paris has its Palace of Versailles, then Vienna has its Schönbrunn Palace. See: https://www.schoenbrunn.at/en/
The Wikipedia page has images to show some of what is there: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schönbrunn_Palace
Best wishes to you all.
Richard and Susan
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